Never faced gender bias in Air Force: Gunjan Saxena tells HC

16 October, 2020 | Ojasvi Chauhan

Gujan Saxena, Janhvi Kapoor Entertainment

Former flight lieutenant Gunjan Saxena on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that she never faced any gender-based bias in the Air Force. The Delhi High Court had suggested the counsel appearing fo...

Gunjan Saxena, former Indian flight lieutenant on Thursday said to the Delhi High Court that during her service, she never faced any sort of discrimination based on her gender. She said that the Indian Air Force gave her an opportunity to serve the nation and she was forever grateful for that.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday suggested the counsel appearing for Centre and filmmaker to sit together and sort out the issues related to content shown in the Bollywood movie Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.

A single bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, Senior Advocate Harish Salve and others to sit together and sort out the issues by exchanging the views. The court also refused to pass any interim order on the Centre’s plea seeking to restrain the release of Bollywood movie Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl on theatres and said that those who wanted to watch the movie, might already have seen it on the OTT platform.

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The court said that who will go and watch a movie in the theatre in the time of COVID-19 pandemic and those who wanted to see the movie might have already watched it as it is already available on OTT platform. After hearing the counsel of both sides, the court adjourned the matter till January 18, 2021.

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Salve, appearing for Dharma Productions, urged the court to watch the movie. Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for Karan Johar, shared the disclaimer with the court and submitted that the movie is inspired by the events based on the life of Gunjan Saxena.

However, ASJ Jain said that disclaimer was an eyewash and the film has distorted the image of the Air Force in the name of creative freedom.

The court also noted that the film was not a biopic pointing out that filmmakers would not have shown former Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena as the first female officer of the Air Force.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had refused to grant an interim order of injunction against the movie “Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl” and asked Dharma Productions Private Limited, Karan Yash Johar, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, Netflix and others to file reply on Centre and Indian Air Force’s plea against the movie.

The Central government, in a plea filed through standing counsel Gaurang Kanth, sought to restrain from broadcasting, telecasting, releasing in theatres or any other digital, over-the-top (OTT) platform of the movie.

Centre has said that the matter concerns the dignity and reputation of the Indian Air Force, which has been maligned and added that IAF has been portrayed in a very poor light by showing that it practice gender bias.

Centre has told the court that the movie damages the reputation of the Indian Air Force and said that the motion picture in question has not been shown to the preview committee, no NOC has been taken and no MOU has been signed which is general practice.

It sought to remove or withdraw the film ‘Gunjan Saxena – The Kargil Girl’ or any part or scene thereof from all OTT platforms including those of Netflix, without the grant of no-objection certificate from the plaintiff.

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